In the ethnic cleansing of the American West, no tribe suffered more than the Cheyenne. Sweet Medicine, the lively sequel to Powwow Highway (the 1983 book and 1989 movie), replays the tribe’s tragic history as contemporary farce. An overweight, underconfident Northern Cheyenne named Phil-bert Bono leads a band of Indians across the West. They buy out a shopping mall, stop traffic at a ski resort, steal horses from a dude ranch, and outwit police, Army, FBI, and CIA. Superman, Star Trek, Miami Vice, fairy tales, and beer commercials mix it up with bitter memories and sacred legends in a sometimes preachy but mostly smart, funny, and unsettling ”epic expedition for anti-heroic times.” A-
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